New principals

From left, Dr. Ana Gomez del Castillo, Carrie Furedy and Michael Lamp will begin the school year as the new principals at Kyrene de los Lagos, Kyrene del Milenio and Kyrene de la Estrella, respectively. [Submitted photos]

Four Kyrene schools in Ahwatukee Foothills will have a new principal for the 2012-13 school year.

There are some new faces as well as familiar ones. Kyrene shifted some principals around and promoted others to the position at a total of 11 of their schools, out of 25.

In Ahwatukee Foothills, Kyrene del Milenio, Kyrene de la Sierra, Kyrene de la Estrella and Kyrene de los Lagos will all have a new person at their helm.

Click here to read other stories from our Back to School special section.

For Kyrene de los Niños principal Dr. Ana Gomez del Castillo and former Kyrene de los Lagos principal Tonya Yalong have swapped campuses for the 2012-13 school year and beyond. Gomez del Castillo was principal at Niños for 13 years and helped bring about the Dual Language Academy at the school.

Two years ago, resident had a chance to enroll their children in the program, which taught subjects equally in Spanish and in English. Last year it was open to kindergartners and first-grade students.

“While it is still in infancy, I believe the teachers who are there are truly the backbone of that program and will continue to make it an excellence program and one that the district will be proud of,” Gomez del Castillo said.

As an Ahwatukee Foothills resident herself, Gomez del Castillo said she was looking forward to working in the community and getting to know better the parents and students who make it up.

“I am really looking forward to know the students and parents and continuing the level of excellence that Lagos has achieved over the years,” she said. “I want to be the person who is learning as much as I can from the people (teachers) who have been here the longest.”

For Carrie Furedy, her new job at Kyrene del Milenio, while an interim position for now, will be her second time as a principal within the Kyrene School District. For the past five years Furedy worked in the district office as the assistant director of educational services, but before that she was principal of Kyrene de la Colina for two years.

Furedy’s experience at the district provided her with a better understanding of where resources lie and who to speak with if she has issues that extend higher than just her campus.

“Connections that I made, I feel like I bring more folks with me to the work and if we are having problems, I know exactly who to go to,” she said.

What brings her back to the school campus is why she went into education in the first place.

“I’m excited for this opportunity because I had been wanting to go back to a school site for awhile,” Furedy said. “I enjoyed time at the district office, but I chose to get into this position in education to work with kids and families. Here I will see the direct impact on a day-to-day basis.”

After 15 years in the Kyrene district, where he started his full-time career as a teacher, up until the last five as vice principal of Kyrene de las Lomas, Michael Lamp will take over as principal at Kyrene de la Estrella. He will replace Dave Maloney, who was interim principal last year and who will move to the same position at Kyrene de la Sierra.

For Lamp, becoming principal was the realization of a long-term goal.

“I felt I was professionally ready for some time and I was waiting to be personally ready,” he said. “My family is in a position to make this change and the extra hours it requires. Every move along the way of my career was geared toward this goal.”

To prepare for the coming year, Lamp spent time with his predecessor and spoke with other principals in the district and the school’s teachers as well.

“I asked the teachers what is one complex change and what is a simple change that we could do to make the school better,” he said. “I got all the nuts and bolts. I want to be as knowledgeable going into the school year as I can be.”

Elsewhere, Jim Verrill has moved to Aprende Middle School, where he will take over for Gerri Shaw who is retiring. Previous Kyrene de la Sierra principal Tracey Pastor will move from Kyrene de la Sierra to Kyrene del Norte.

Nancy Dudenhoefer, district spokesperson for Kyrene, said that the switches were made due to the retirement of three principals. District administers decided the moves to match up principals with certain strengths to schools who could best utilize those strengths.

Welcome the new principals on the first day of school on Monday, Aug. 6.

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